My life - from the impact of great loss, to a refreshing new take on life and a place where I now share ............... my favorite Plant Strong recipes....

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

More Than a Memory

It’s already starting to happen. I’m meeting people, new friendships are developing. “Great!” you might say. Don’t get me wrong, I love all the connections that God has blessed me with.

So where does my hesitation come from?

Simple. These new friends never met Chelsea. They don’t know that giggle… those flaring nostrils.

So I’ve come to the conclusion that I am going to hang tight to those friendships with those who are part of our lives now who knew her. For those of you who not only knew her, but loved her as well - you will always hold a very special place in my heart. You are a blessing to me, because you loved my baby. To you, she is not just a name. As her mommy, I will hang tight with every ounce I have (trust me, that’s a LOT of ounces!) to her memory.

It’s the strangest thing to talk of my baby in past tense. “This WAS her favorite movie… She LOVED that…. That’s how she USED TO wear her hair….. She WOULD HAVE loved that shirt….”. It goes on and on.

And if I’m telling someone of my girl, and they’ve never met her… well, it’s only words. People look at me with that look - they want to help, to say something - but really, we all know how difficult that is. It’s just hard, because Chelsea was so much more than just words, no matter how descriptive they are.

She is so much more than a memory, if that makes any sense to you. I could use every word imaginable, and still not find the right ones to describe this.

So, on a more upbeat note, Kati had a GREAT birthday! We are a blessed family and I am so thankful for my hubby and daughter. Celebrating her birthday, celebrating her life, had a whole new meaning and depth to it this year, and how great it was to share that. Her party was a blast and the only downer was that it didn’t last long enough. We had it at a gym, and Kati and her friends were entertained and entertaining at the same time.

So I’m finding that as I hang onto those precious memories of Chelsea, it’s time to make new memories as well. Birthday parties, game nights…. finding a new pumpkin patch that even compares to the one we’ve gone to for years… these things all can be fun and exciting as we allow God’s healing hand in our lives.

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Krissy Keelan said...

I'm glad to read that you are meeting new friends, but I can't imagine how strange it is to meet someone new and be talking about your family and all that and getting through all the emotions about Chelsea.
I know when I meet a complete stranger that asks about McKayla and what's wrong with her? what is she being treated for? does she have cancer? uh oh, someone got ahold of a pair of sissors (meaning she cut all her hair off being a kid). The comments go on and on. Coming from someone who doesn't know you, doesn't know you had a child with cancer, doesn't know you lost your child. I can only imagine it has to be tough. I'm sure you will continue to meet many more new friends in the months and years to come and they will think of Chelsea whatever you speak about her, how wonderful she was, how much she loved and trusted the Lord, how much she loved her sister. You will keep everything she stands for alive by speaking of her.

Katie Newsom said...

I have often wondered why certain friends come into my life at certain times and especially WHY they leave or fade away. My husband told me, after I had been struggling with this, that friends come and go as we need them at that time...then they move on or we do to experience new people that enrich our lives. I think that was a very valuable comment for me in understanding how we all work in each others lives, and why some don't stick.

I hope your new friends fill you up with whatever it is that your heart needs, maybe Chelsea is sending them to you to bless you in some way. It's so true that dear old friends are such a comfort, such a treasure, but the newness of a friendship begining is so valuable, so vital. You are so loveable I can imagine that you draw many to you.

I was lucky to meet Chlesea and to write back and forth with her, she brought a lot into my life in a short period of time. I needed that, I needed that new friend...

Peace and prayers for you always!

Lori said...

My sweet friend, our hearts sing the same tune. I have a wonderful friend who lost her mother to cancer a few years ago. Sadly, we met after both of our losses. I wish with all my heart that this dear friend could have met my little Lillian and I'm sure she feels the same about me and her mom. I love to talk about Lillian so my friend feels as though she knew her. But despite photos and videos, my stories fall short of describing the beautiful joy that was my daughter. It's still just a 2d replication of a vibrant 3d person.

I am so thankful that I got to meet your dear Chelsea on a few occasions. To see firsthand how the two of you were like mirrors reflecting the best in each other. Your joke brought out her million watt smile. Her kindness brought out your glowing pride. I am blessed to have caught a glimpse of that beautiful synergy.

emily peterson said...


I know it must be so hard for you during this time, meeting new friends and all. As you said, Chelsea is definitely much more than a memory. She still lives on in those of us who knew her, we still feel and know the love that she passed on to so many. I know when you've lost someone, it's so hard to try to explain her to those who didn't know her. Many years ago, my aunt passed away. That was a very hard time for me and I kept trying to talk to friends about her, but they didn't know her so it was hard for them to relate. Normally I would end my conversation or sentence with "I wish you could've known her." I think it was frustrating for both of us because it was hard for them to understand and try as I might, I couldn't make them understand. Anyways, just know that I love you so very much and I always will, I'll always love Chelsea too, and I cannot wait til the day when we can all be together. You, me, Chelsea, Lexie, EVERYONE. How awesome will that be?! I wish we didn't have to go through this time without them, but I'm so thankful for the hope of seeing them once again and most of all for God's help and comfort to see us through.

I hope Kati had a super birthday, I love her more every time I see her! She always makes me smile and I look forward to our time together in Cubbies, along with all the other kids!
Love ya lots and lots, Em

Marissa said...

Hey Celeste,
Thinking about you and praying you today!
Love you guys and always will!